A Guide to Managing Concussions at Various Events

Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury that can occur as a result of various accidents, ranging from sports injuries to falls. Understanding the signs of symptoms for a concussion and knowing what actions can take will help to promote healing and minimise complications for the patient.

Understanding Concussions

Before discussing management techniques, it is essential to understand what a concussion is. A concussion is a brain injury caused by a sudden jolt, blow, or impact to the head or body, resulting in temporary disruption of normal brain function. Symptoms can vary widely and may include headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, and difficulty concentrating or remembering.

Immediate Response

When a concussion occurs at an event, it is crucial to respond promptly and appropriately. If a concussion is suspected, the patient should be removed from the event or activity to prevent further injury. The patient should be evaluated and signs of concussion should be assessed. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and assume a concussion until proven otherwise. Even if the symptoms seem mild, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional can assess the severity of the injury and provide appropriate guidance for treatment and recovery.

Managing Recovery

Recovering from a concussion requires time, rest, and proper care. A patient should be encouraged to rest in the days following the concussion. This includes both physical and cognitive rest, which may involve limiting screen time, avoiding strenuous activities, and taking frequent breaks from mental tasks.

Any instructions or recommendations provided by healthcare professionals should be followed by the patient as appropriate. These may include restrictions on physical activity, medication management, and follow-up appointments. Once symptoms begin to improve, activities and exercises can be re-introduced. However, it is essential to progress slowly and avoid returning to full intensity too quickly, as this can increase the risk of reinjury.

The patient’s symptoms throughout the recovery process should be monitored. If symptoms worsen or new symptoms develop in the patient, a healthcare provider should be contacted immediately. Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for supporting the patient’s healing process. Encourage the patient to drink plenty of water and consume nutritious foods to further aid in recovery.

Prevention

While it is not always possible to prevent concussions entirely, there are steps that event organisers and participants can take to minimise the risk of these occurring, such as:

  • Providing education and training on concussion recognition and response to coaches and athletes at sporting events and event staff for all other events. This can help ensure that concussions are identified and managed promptly.
  • Ensuring that participants have access to and properly use safety equipment such as helmets, padding, and mouthguards at sporting events. Properly fitting equipment can help reduce the risk of head injuries.
  • Adherence to safety guidelines and rules established for the event or activity. This may include enforcing fair play, eliminating hazardous conditions, and implementing concussion protocols.
  • Encourage a culture of sportsmanship and respect among participants at sporting events and discourage risky or aggressive behaviour that could lead to injuries at other events.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Whilst most concussions resolve on their own with proper management, it is crucial to seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or persist. Signs that warrant immediate medical attention include severe or worsening headache, persistent vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures, weakness or numbness in limbs, slurred speech, confusion or disorientation that worsens over time.

Be Confident When Faced With the Task of Managing Concussions at Events

Managing concussions at any event requires vigilance, clinical skills, patience and a supportive environment. By following these tips and strategies, patients’ healing and welfare will be best protected. If in doubt, medical advice should be sought to ensure the best possible outcome.

Managing concussions is a topic that is covered during on both the three day First Aid at Work course and the two day Paediatric first aid course. If you are interested in learning more about managing concussions or other illness, accidents and emergencies, ensure you opt for a first aid qualification that is fit for purpose and meets HSE and Ofsted standards and requirements, such as what we offer at Catapult Services.

Simply visit our website or contact us directly by phone on 020 3384 7876, by email at info@catapultservices.co.uk or via our online contact form to enquire about our first aid training courses and how you can secure your place on one of our courses. We will also be more than happy to discuss your needs to help you determine which first aid training course is most suited to you.